A bottle shop and tasting room nestled in a chic reinvention of a manufacturing plant. Here, South Australian small-batch producers are championed. The focus of the Bowden Cellars team is discovering wine, with the food offering by way of their kitchen partner, CARŌ Club.
The nuts & bolts
- Indoor and outdoor space
- Wheelchair access
- Upstairs mezzanine area can be booked for functions
- Riedel glassware
- Larger groups are welcome – recommend to book ahead
The regular’s tip
Every Friday night at the Bowden Cellars tasting bench, you will find a different South Australian producer – ranging from internationally award-winning gin distillers to funky pet-nats and new generation winemakers, offering a free tasting experience.
Desirable drinking and eating spaces provide a central plank in the urban renewal of Bowden, to transform a former manufacturing plant on the western fringe of Adelaide into a chic apartment precinct. Bowden Cellars, occupying an airy, light-filled and whitewashed post-industrial space located in the big Plant 3 building, is integral to this transformation with its versatile bottle shop and tasting room.
Wine buyer and co-owner Josh Voigt says Bowden Cellars is one of few venues with a complete focus on South Australian wines, spirits and craft beers. Local producers are on hand to pour their wines every Friday. Even the bar snacks promote SA produce, including Riverland dried apricots, Barossa mettwurst and Willunga almonds. It’s a parochialism Josh makes no apologies about.
“We have a special love for small-batch, boutique producers, and South Australia provides us with easy access to a diverse range of regional expressions,” says Josh. “I really want to get some of the emerging Mediterranean styles into people’s glasses, because these grapes just grow so well here.”
Beyond the bottle shop’s expansive selection (which can be consumed on-premise for an additional charge), the bar’s wine list gets rotated every three weeks, usually with 12 wines poured by the glass. “We always aim to include some lesser-known varieties, to generate some conversation around emerging and up and coming wine styles,” says Josh. “We really enjoy shining light on producers making great wine who don’t necessarily get the same lime-light as other larger brands.
“We hand-select every bottle in our shop and on our menu – and it’s more important for us to show wines that speak to their true style and expression than filling shelves with fast moving lines. We try to balance the old world with the new as much as possible.”
Cool food offerings from CARŌCLUB help to set a relaxed mood, with the cooking team of Tim Attiwill, Kyle McLean and head chef Kain Slotegraaf visible in the open kitchen located between the bar and bottle shop. Caro is the Latin word for meat, so while smoking, braising or cooking meat over coals is a specialty – try a spicy fried chicken burger with Nashville-style hot sauced fried buttermilk chicken – the kitchen also provides options for vegetarians and vegans.
Co-owner Dale Wostikow says Bowden Cellars has been designed to reflect the fun vibe he previously created with Josh at the Adelaide Wine Markets, a regular popup they hosted in a weekend market space for several years.
Now they are located in a contemporary open-plan space with a mezzanine level that often accommodates groups or tutored wine tasting classes, along with outdoor table settings, but the duo still strive to provide an intimate wine experience. “Locals come through just to find out what’s new, then they’ll stay for a chat and grab a bite to eat with their new find,” says Dale, “and that’s exactly the reaction we want.”